ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with New Zealand counterpart Winston Peters and discussed matters related to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic as well as bilateral relations.
The foreign minister highlighted cooperative relations between Pakistan and New Zealand and underscored the importance of a coordinated international response to deal with the unprecedented pandemic. He commended New Zealand’s efforts, under the leadership of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, to control the spread of the disease.
Underscoring that a global recession is imminent, and the pandemic has seriously impacted the developing world, Shah Mahmood Qureshi highlighted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Global Initiative for Debt Relief and hoped that New Zealand will lend its support to the Initiative.
The foreign minister highlighted on-going restrictions in Indian Occupied Kashmir, which are hampering dissemination of information and preventing unfettered supply of medicines and other essentials needed to combat Covid-19.
He also expressed deep concern over heightened hate crimes and discrimination against Muslims in India after the pandemic. The foreign minister also noted that the US Commission on International Religious Freedom has expressed concerns regarding the steepest and alarming deterioration in religious freedom conditions in India.
Qureshi thanked the New Zealand government for providing visa extension to Pakistanis on temporary visas in New Zealand who could not leave due to border restrictions. The foreign minister also appreciated the assurances of his counterparts for taking care of the 200 Pakistani students in New Zealand.